Monthly Archive for March, 2006

Day of Posi, Continued

Holy moley, I just got back from taking a quick walk around and WHOA it’s nice outside.

The day of posi just keeps getting better, as I just got around to eating the aforementioned apple, of which it happened to be my favorite variety: gala. I always thought that gala apples were out of season this time of year, but I guess not. I have to say, as far as apples go, this one was pretty damn good.

Day of Posi

It’s been a great day so far: I woke up early (almost right after Meg left for the day, around 6:45 or so), left the apartment early to trek to work, the weather is great, the birds are chirping, people actually smiled at me on my walk to work, I had ample time to pick up a hot cocoa and a gala apple for breakfast, and I’m now sitting at my desk, waiting for the pending payment report to finish downloading.

All in all, I’ve got no complaints so far.

I’ve had Sloop John B by the Beach Boys in my head all morning. Oddly enough, when I got to the coffee shop, they were playing Pet Sounds. Yeah. Crazy, I know.

ATTN: PHILADELPHIANS

Ok, listen up philly: you people need to get the hell out of my way. When I walk to work in the morning, I don’t particularly enjoy having to walk behind your slow, bloated ass.

All I ask, at the very least, is that you either A.) start treating walking like you would driving a car, but since you probably have never driven a car before, then B.) get out of the way if you’re not going to proceed more quickly.

I have no prejudice against walking slow. Quite the contrary, actually: I find it pleasurable and relaxing to take a leisurely stroll through the streets of this fair city, and Meg and I do it fairly often.

However, when we walk, we try to be aware of the people around us, and especially to ensure that we don’t get in the way of people that are walking faster than us, that probably have someplace they need to be.

So, in conclusion, I’m vowing on this space to NEVER get out of your way. Sure, it may be a giant karmic backfire, but if you’ve seen me walking in a straight line for more than 50 feet, don’t expect me to get out of your way if you’re walking side by side with your seven friends and taking up the whole sidewalk.

Some Clarity

For the sake of clarification, I should ammend the previous post regarding AOL’s Email Tax.

AOL will NOT begin charging its users per email, as I can now see could be easily misconstrued from my original rant.

This fact does not change the severity of the situation: allowing senders to pay for their email priority is a bad thing, and contrapositive to the foundation of the internet as we’ve come to know it.

Don’t let this happen, people. Sign the petition.

AOL’s Email Tax

I’m sure we’ve all seen a copy of that infamous forwarded email titled “Government to Start Charging 5 Cents Per Email!” – or something equally inflammatory. In said email, the user was instructed to forward the message to his/her friends and upon completion of this task be blessed with good luck, bigger penis, better teeth, easily obtained prescription pharmaceuticals or whatever.

So, imagine my surprise when I first heard about AOL’s proposed switch to CertifiedEmail – a move that will allow senders to pay for their emails to bypass AOL’s spam filtration system.

How exactly is this a measure to *stop* spam? Isn’t it conceivable that a spammer would pay to send out their drivel? Further, what does this say about AOL and their role as a tech company? Why can’t an ISP with a subscriber base of over 20 million people make better spam filters?

The part that is most infuriating about this, is that the average AOL subscriber (I’m talking to you, middle-American red-states) probably won’t understand what this means, and why it’s bad for the internet.

The very foundation of the internet is built from the concepts of openness and equality – the idea that everyone has the same voice. This is the exact opposite. This is making it possible for some of the voices to be heard better and more clearly – but for a price. The point has been made that if AOL can make money with CertifiedEmail, then they’ll have little incentive to fix or maintain normal email, laden with spam as it is, on which they would actually be spending money. This is scary, scary stuff.

Over 20 million people (all of whom incidentally, pay between $10 and $25 a month for the use of this second-rate connection to the internet) will be part of a historically pivotal traffic control experiment, and they probably don’t even know it.

My hope is that this will be a colossal failure for AOL, both in practice, and in terms of their (already heavily eroded) public image. Sadly, I have a feeling it will only make the internet less open, and cost more money.

So, I urge any of you out there in internet-land, AOL subscriber or not, to sign the petition. It may already be too late, given AOL’s recent statement of determination, but your voice still matters.

Or, at the very least, consider switching carriers.